Laura Pidcock launches explosive attack on “intimidating nature” of Westminster

Labour MP Laura Pidcock’s maiden speech to parliament has been lauded after she took an anti-establishment dig at Westminster.

The speech has been likened to that of the SNP’s Mhairi Black’s first speech in which she launched a scathing attack on the Conservative Government addressing issues including benefit sanctions, the budget, and Harriet Harman’s call on Labour MPs to abstain on a vote on the Government’s welfare and work bill.

Pidcock, the 29 year-old new MP for North West Durham, made a similarly explosive entrance in the House of Commons, arguing that the “the intimidating nature of this place is not accidental”.

She said: “Turning to this place, this building is intimidating. It reeks of the establishment and of power; its systems are confusing—some may say archaic—and it was built at a time when my class and my sex would have been denied a place within it because we were deemed unworthy.

“I believe that the intimidating nature of this place is not accidental. The clothes, the language, and the obsession with hierarchies, control and domination are symbolic of the system at large.”

“But the most frustrating thing has been to sit opposite those people who tell me that things are better, and that suffering has lessened for my constituents.

“I would like them to come and tell the people who have been sanctioned that things are better. I would like them to tell that to the teacher in my constituency who was recently made redundant. I would like them to talk to the 16,500 people in County Durham in receipt of food parcels. I would like them to talk to the nurses, the junior doctors and the firefighters—come and tell them that years of austerity have improved their practice or their profession.”

She concluded: “I will end with this: we can choose, in this place, to be self-obsessed, to perpetrate fear and greed, to be a monument to injustice, or this can be a place that ​elevates equality, facilitates the power of the people, and esteems and properly funds a rich network of public services so that nobody is left in the indignity of poverty.”

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